As I have mentioned, while I do not watch a lot of TV, I do keep up with several paranormal blogs and podcasts. I was listening to Beyond the Edge Radio a couple of weeks ago and heard about a haunting case I had not seen referenced before, the so-called C2D1 Haunting which took place at SUNY Geneseo in NY state. Here is a quick recap of the case for those not familiar with it along with the requisite spooky photo reportedly taken during the height of the haunting.
In many ways, the events that bedeviled Chris DiCesare followed the course of a classic, increasingly violent haunting. The events began with a voice whispering into Mr. DiCesare’s ear, calling his name, and escalated, over the course of several weeks to include alleged physical assaults and full body apparitions. Lon Strickler, one of the hosts of BTE Radio, a well known paranormal blogger, dug deeply into the story while Mr. DiCesare and his friend Jeff Unger were on the air. Strickler theorized that Mr. DiCesare was and is a “spirit beacon” – that is, someone who attracts the attention of spirits and with whom spirits will attempt to communicate. I would tend to agree with Mr. Strickler after listening to the interview and hearing some of the witness’ story in his own words.
In Spiritualist terms, it sounds as though Mr. DiCesare might be a latent spirit medium, that is, a person who has a greater than average ability to sense and communicate with spirits. In Mr. DiCesare’s case, that ability has remained mostly undeveloped likely due to the fright he received in this episode. It is interesting to note though that the haunting was resolved when Mr. DiCesare faced his fears and actually talked to the spirit involved. Later findings indicate that this ghost might even have been distantly related to the percipient, something which could only serve to attract the spirit even more. Imagine, if you will, being locked in a liminal state where very few people could see or hear you and suddenly having someone come along who could not only see you and hear you but also happened to be related to you. Would you not give your best effort to communicating with that person if you had some manner of unfinished business or simply needed some instructions on what to do now? Again, in Spiritualist terms, this is referred to as laying a ghost.
This episode, though, highlights a factor in hauntings that I think bears some attention. Like so many hauntings, this event began slowly and increased in intensity until it became an outright physical threat. Many modern ghost hunters would be quick to categorize this incident as a demonic haunting or at least the incursion of a negative or unfriendly spirit . . . and, they would be dead wrong.
If a ghost is, as most people assume, some non-corporeal part of a human being then we can expect it to behave in a manner similar to humans. Ask any medium and they will tell you that being dead does not, of necessity, make a person smarter, friendlier, or more enlightened than you or I. It certainly can give a person a different perspective, if they are willing to learn, but those spirits who are earthbound are often locked into old behavior patterns from life.
In this instance, Mr. DiCesare theorizes that the spirit in question was a distant relative who had been tortured and killed during the Revolutionary War period. I want you to take a few moments to step back and put yourself in this spirit’s place. You have been dead for over two hundred years and have been unable to pass over for whatever reason (it was not made clear in this interview). You see the opportunity to get some guidance from someone who can communicate with you and who is a relative. And suddenly, they are lashing out at you and even call in a priest to try to get rid of you. Your reaction? Please note that the haunting really escalated after the priest did the blessing trying to get rid of the ghost. As you or I would be, this spirit was angered and likely felt betrayed. It reacted accordingly and Mr. DiCesare’s situation got much worse before he finally consented to communication.
Fast forward to modern day with ghost hunters stalking through homes, with holy water and so-called demonologists, seeking to cast out spirits simply because someone in the home got a fright. Now, everyone who reads this blog knows that I am all for taking it to the Intruders when they rear their ugly heads and that I have no problem with a real priest doing an exorcism after all the protocols of the Church have been met and it is determined that there is a demon present (although I might quibble about the type of spirit). It seems to me though that a lot of the so-called hostile hauntings out there might simply be caused by spirits escalating things in order to get someone’s attention.
Once again, this is where having an experienced magical practitioner on a paranormal investigation team might yield good results. Even if the person is not a natural medium, they will likely know someone reliable and will have a good sense of when that person should be called in. Is it not far easier to negotiate with a spirit or ghost and find out what it wants than to plunge forward blindly in a manner that could aggravate the situation? Instead of calling the spirit out and attempting to get it to punch you in the nose, would it not be simpler and more effective to calmly ascertain what the spirit is after before pulling out the holy water and crosses?
My advice to ghost hunters? Listen to the witnesses! Once you are fairly certain you are not dealing with a hoax or hysteria, look for the person around whom the activity seems to settle and have them sit down with someone experienced, someone who can protect them if the being is truly malevolent and try to negotiate a truce. No harm can be done by doing this and it may resolve the situation to the satisfaction of parties on both sides of the veil.